Blood Pressure and Hypertension in an American Colony (Puerto Rico) and on the USA Mainland Compared, 1886-1930

Posted: 9 Jul 2007

See all articles by Ricardo Godoy

Ricardo Godoy

Brandeis University

Elizabeth Goodman

Attorney at Law

Richard A. Levins

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Craig Seyfried

Brandeis University

Naveen Jha

Independent

Clarence Gravlee

University of Florida

Abstract

We compare blood pressure and hypertension between adult men on the USA mainland and in Puerto Rico born during 1886-1930 to test hypotheses about the link between cardiovascular health and large socioeconomic and political changes in society: (a) 8853 men surveyed in Puerto Rico in 1965 and (b) 1449 non-Hispanic White men surveyed on the mainland during 1971-1975. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure and hypertension were regressed separately on demographic and socioeconomic variables and cardiovascular risk factors. Mainland men not taking anti-hypertensive medication showed statistically significant improvements in systolic blood pressure and hypertension at the beginning of the century and men in Puerto Rico showed improvements in diastolic blood pressure but only during the last two quinquenniums. An average man born on the mainland during the last birth quinquennium (1926-1930) had 7.4-8.7 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure and was 61% less likely to have systolic hypertension than one born before 1901. On average Puerto Rican men born during 1921-1925 had 1.7 mmHg lower diastolic blood pressure than men born before 1901. Analyses of secular trends in cardiovascular health complements analyses of secular trends in anthropometric indicators and together provide a fuller view of the changing health status of a population.

Keywords: Blood pressure, Hypertension, Puerto Rico, Secular trends, USA, Stress, Male living standards, Anthropometric history

JEL Classification: I12, I32, N33

Suggested Citation

Godoy, Ricardo and Goodman, Elizabeth and Levins, Richard A. and Seyfried, Craig and Jha, Naveen and Gravlee, Clarence, Blood Pressure and Hypertension in an American Colony (Puerto Rico) and on the USA Mainland Compared, 1886-1930. Economics & Human Biology, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 255-279, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=999141

Ricardo Godoy (Contact Author)

Brandeis University ( email )

Waltham, MA 02454
United States

Elizabeth Goodman

Attorney at Law

Richard A. Levins

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities ( email )

Department of Applied Economics
231 Cla Off - 1994 Buford Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108
United States
612-625-5238 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://umn.edu/lookup?SET_INSTITUTION=&UID=levin003

Craig Seyfried

Brandeis University ( email )

Waltham, MA 02454
United States

Naveen Jha

Independent ( email )

Clarence Gravlee

University of Florida ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

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